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Gardening - be resourceful!

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without”..... New England proverb.

It’s winter here and I am busy collecting leaves by the bagful! We are blessed with very old deciduous trees in our street; these beautiful things not only provide the most stunning shade in summer and colour in autumn but also give us an abundance of leaves to add to the garden nearing winter. I think you are supposed to collect and mulch them, but I don’t, they simply get tipped from the bag on to the garden, giving some protection to the smaller plants from the harsh cold.

Not sure why they should be mulched put on the compost heap and then transferred back to the garden, but I don’t have one (compost heap) so straight onto the garden they go. The only thing I do then is give a quick watering down – mainly so they don’t blow away. I have been doing this for years and my garden soil is always greatly improved. The worms come in abundance and the white “curl grub” eat the leaves not the roots of precious plants.

I am a fundamentally “lazy” person and “stingy” so the double handling of leaves to compost heaps, buying additives, weekly turning then putting back on the garden does not appeal one little bit. By not doing this I save time and money. If you are like me, “fundamentally lazy” and “stingy” then do yourself a favour and skip the compost/mulching step, throw them straight on the garden. I promise your garden will improve!

Or you can just mow them. This one may be the easiest solution, as it involves no raking whatsoever. There really is no scientific reason to rake all of the leaves off of your lawn. If you simply run over them with a mower (with the wheels set at their highest setting) they'll break down over the winter, providing your soil with nutrients and shading the soil, which will result in fewer lawn weeds to worry about next year. If you do this once a week until the leaves are finished falling, you won't have to rake a single leaf, and your lawn will look better for it next spring and summer. Alternatively you can put the "catcher" on the mower and tip the contents straight onto the garden - I guess this would be a type of mulching!

One of the other benefits of gathering leaves quiet apart from the good of the garden is you prevent them washing down and clogging drains.

...and remember...have a fabulous retirementLIFE....

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